Holy Crap – You People are Still Reading This!
You all may or may not have noticed that it’s been several years since I last updated this blog. First off, yes, I am still vegan. In fact, I celebrated my 10-year vegan anniversary in March! I’ve also had some big changes in my life, one of which, in particular, has been kind of an interesting test of my some of the advice I posted in an earlier post. First, I’ve gotten divorced. I’m really happy about it, and it is definitely the right thing for me, so… yay! Second, I’ve moved to Portland, Oregon. Third, I am dating (and living with) someone new… AND HE EATS MEAT!
So, am I taking my own advice?
For the most part, I think, yes. My new partner doesn’t eat a lot of meat (he does live in Portland.) He’s familiar with and likes lots of vegan food (the guy was buying nutritional yeast long before I came into the picture). He doesn’t eat much in the way of factory farmed meat (pepperoni on pizza and the occasional burrito are his only real exceptions). When we eat out together, he tends to get vegan stuff, even though he certainly doesn’t have to. His big thing is salmon. He doesn’t buy it often, but when he does, he cooks it up in a skillet, and it’s super gross. I tried to cook tofu in the skillet after he’d cooked salmon in there once, and I had to chuck the tofu because it smelled of salmon and made me gag. So then I went out and bought my own vegan skillet, and that’s been that.
I do think my partner is eating less meat and animal products with me around, which is a net positive for the animals. He also thinks critically about his meat and animal product consumption, which I think is important. We’ve been able to have discussions about the ethics of eating animal products, and I’m pleased to say that they’ve been honest and almost pleasant. I like to think that at least part of why I’ve had such a positive experience is the fact that I have been following my own advice. Sure, he gets credit as well for being a cool guy with an open mind, but I’m pretty sure our differing stances on consuming animal products would be a much bigger deal if I was really dramatic about it, or if I was constantly trying to actively convert him.
That’s not to say that it’s perfect. I would definitely prefer it if my partner went vegan, and it’s entirely possible he will one day. It does, of course, bum me out to see him eating meat. He can’t commiserate with me when I whine about how hard it is to find warm, non-wool winter socks. But now more than ever I’m convinced that being a reasonable, level-headed, sense-of-humor-having vegan is more effective activism than wearing lettuce bikinis or throwing fake blood. I understand why lots of vegans are angry. I’m angry too. I just can’t let it control my life, down to who I date and how I relate to them.
I guess this all sounds like I’m giving myself a huge, smug pat on the back, which isn’t really my intention. Mostly, I’ve just been surprised that despite me not having updated this blog in a really long time, it’s still getting hits and comments (some of which are super snarky – thanks, guys!), and I thought it might be interesting to share my experience, now that I’m in the situation I was giving advice about a couple of years ago.
Who knows, maybe I’ll write a few more real posts for old times sake…